It may be too early to get into the festive spirit just yet – but now is the ideal time to start budgeting to ease the strain on your wallet over Christmas.
Last year, people spent an average £506 on Christmas gifts, food and drink and socialising.
The total bill was 8% higher than the average cost in 2014, according to Halifax’s findings.
Nearly a third (29%) of people admitted spending more than they did in 2014 and, of those, nearly one in five (18%) spent more than £200 extra.
Many people also found themselves facing a Christmas hangover lasting into the spring.
Halifax revealed that one in three people still had payments from Christmas 2015 outstanding at the start of February – and their financial hangover was typically expected to last until April.
Giles Martin, head of Halifax Savings, said: “It’s never too early to think about how you will pay for Christmas.
“If you can afford to save regularly to spread the cost, then the earlier you start saving, the less you need to find each month.”
So how can you best stick to your budget?
Here are some tips from bargain-hunting website HotUKDeals:
- Do your research. Offers may look tempting, but check reviews to make sure the savings have not been exaggerated.
- Be quick. Some online deals may sell out in seconds, so once you’ve done your research, don’t hang about.
- Don’t necessarily wait until discount days like Black Friday. Keep an eye out for where and when discounts will occur.
- Watch out for hidden costs, such as postage, which can reduce the discount.
- Look out for codes for free shipping and discounts on the purchase price.
- Check delivery times for items you’re buying as Christmas presents to make sure they won’t arrive too late.
- Be a ‘VIP’. Some retailers release details of special offers to their VIP members first, so sign up to receive their emails.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe